Tuesday, Dec 12th

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Do You Suffer from Relationship Identity Crisis? Who Are You When You Become Involved

BlackW2

Women are relationship strategists. We spend plenty of time and money learning how to perform (or how not to perform) in relationships. Case in point: Remember Think Like a Man, the box office smash hit based on Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, grossed more than $100 million worldwide. Black women we need to face the music –we love being in relationships but many of us need help on how to cultivate successful unions. Many of us may suffer from RIC, Relationship Identity Crisis and we don't even know it. Who are we in relationships? We could be our own worst enemies but if we take time to examine our patterns we can become our own relationship guru if we simply look inside ourselves for guidance.

Look Inside: Get grounded and go deep

 Reflection and self-assessment can be daunting, but both are necessary for learning your perceived relationship identity (the woman you become when you get involved). Nobody knows you like you. Get to a mirror and stare at yourself. Look past the beauty marks and the puffiness under your eyes. Go deep. Then, step away from the mirror and think about who you are in relationships. What makes you “floating on a cloud” happy? What makes you sad or angry? Write your answers in a journal. Step away from it and revisit your journal objectively and reflect on your findings.

Look Back: Reach out to former flames

 Are you able to get in touch with any of your exes? Reach out to one or two of them for a relationship identity check. Ask questions that help you understand how they perceived you in the relationship. A young urban professional told me, “I called one of my exes and asked him what was problematic in our relationship. He told me I worked too much and that I didn’t show my romantic side because I was always in work mode. He was right.” Now ready for a long-term commitment, she decided to take her ex-boyfriend’s thoughts to heart and make changes. Be prepared for honest answers. Knowing how you are perceived in relationships is a necessary tool for growth and will greatly enhance your next relationship experience.

Look around: Find relationship mentors

 Despite the divorce epidemic, many happy couples still exist. You certainly know at least one couple that you can chat with for advice. Find a couple you admire and spend some time with them. Ask them how they maintain longevity in such a fickle romantic world. If they are friends of yours, they will know some of your idiosyncrasies and might be able to shed some light on your relationship aspirations. If they are not close friends, you might share your experiences with them and gain valuable insight.

While we tune our minds in to self-professed relationship gurus, some of us lose sight of what is really needed to enjoy successful relationships. When women become weary of weak, faulty relationships and are ready to settle down, help is closer than the bookstore. Taking some time for deep reflection, reaching back into the past and finding suitable mentors helps strengthen women and prepare us for great relationships.


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